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Rheumatology

Rheumatology is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, which primarily affect the joints, bones and muscles. Also included are conditions of the immune system.

Services provided

Rheumatologists treat patients with inflammatory joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), metabolic bone disorders such as osteoporosis, connective tissues diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), and soft tissues rheumatism such as tennis elbow. Other conditions covered include gout, nerve entrapment (such as sciatica) and back pain.

The main priority of the rheumatology department is the assessment and treatment of patients who may be developing an inflammatory arthritis such as RA. As rapid diagnosis and early treatment has been shown to improve outcome and dramatically reduce long-term problems, disability and loss of employment. We aim to see patients with suspected inflammatory athritis within three weeks. For all patients we have the shortest waiting times in East Anglia.

Sometimes the drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis are quite complex, so every patient starting a drug for inflammatory arthritis is seen by a specialist nurse, who explains the diagnosis and treatment in detail. We offer a rheumatology advice telephone service so patients can phone if they have any questions.

Contact the team

Dr David O'Reilly, consultant rheumatologist: 01284 713484

Dr Vivek Rajagopal, consultant rheumatologist: 01284 713440

Dr Shweta Bhaget, consultant rheumatologist: 01284 712977

Dr Catherine Bevington, consultant rheumatologist: 01284 712907

Dr Mark Sykes, consultant rheumatologist: 01284 713440

Ruth Slack, nurse specialist: 01284 713707

Jackie Hughes, nurse specialist: 01284 713707

Jill North, nurse specialist: 01284 713707 

Nyssa Muskett, research nurse specialist: 01284 713670

Patient information

Research

Our team is committed to participating in clinical research in all areas of rheumatology. Research enhances our understanding and treatment of various rheumatic diseases. We have long standing experience in participating in national and international multi-centre trials. Currently we are involved in a number of commercial (pharmaceutical industry sponsored) and non-commercial studies. These studies cover conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, giant cell arteritis, gout etc. These are diagnostic as well as therapeutic studies (such as new biological therapies), and also questionnaire based studies looking at other aspects of disease. If you would like to know more or are keen to participate, please do not hesitate to ask the clinician that you see at your outpatient appointment. Our rheumatology research nurse, Nyssa Muskett can be contacted on 01284 713670